Mastering Embroidery

If there is one skill that I picked up during this quarantine season, it is embroidery. Now I’ll be honest, I hated it, why? Because I couldn’t figure out how to do it. In my previous post, I uploaded an image of my very first embroidery design and it’s safe to say that it wasn’t the best thing but it also wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

When it comes to embroidery, you have to take risks in order to find out if a certain pattern or shape comes out the way you want it to. I was afraid to take that risk because I didn’t want to mess up what I already had started. As I got comfortable with outlining my design onto the fabric, I took the risk of filling it in, and here is one piece that I worked in, in which I learned how to fill in my design.

I spent a lot of time watching Youtube videos on how to sew and create patterns with a needle and after learning a few techniques, I thought to create my own pattern. Using an old tote bag and leftover thread from my previous embroidery pieces, I created a flowery design and then embroidered it. I feel like I mastered embroidery because I was able to create something from scratch and teach myself by watching videos. That being said, even though I feel like I mastered embroidery, there is always room for improvement.

5 Shows You Must Watch on Netflix

If there is one thing that I can say for sure that has helped me enjoy my time at home during this quarantine is Netflix. I have binged watch so many shows that I lost count at this point. I typically enjoy shows that have an adventure, crime, romance, and drama.  In fact, I love a show that has all four. That being said I want to share the five recent shows I’ve watched.

  • Money Heist- I absolutely love this show because it’s based on crime but also has a lot of drama and romance. This show is about a criminal mastermind known as the “The Professor” and he has a plan to pull off an incredible heist at the Royal Mint of Spain. To carry this plan out, he recruits eight people who have a history of crimes and basically teaches them how to rob the bank with precise lessons. Each character develops a relationship with each other that makes or breaks their focus on the heist. My favorite character is Nairobi, played by Alba Flores, and Nairobi is the strongest member of the heist because she’s committed to completing the heist without distractions. All four seasons of Money Heist is on Netflix. By the way, if you watch this show, I can guarantee you will hate Arturo with a burning passion.

Sweet Magnolias– I finished watching this in a day because there are only 10 episodes and each episode is 25 minutes but its one season. This show is actually based on the book Sweet Magnolias by Sherryl Woods, but it is about three life long friends who lift each other up as they juggle through relationships, family, and careers in their town- Serenity. Each character has a compelling story, and most importantly they touch on topics that are sensitive. In my opinion, Noreen is an underserved character who deserves more because she’s trying to resolve a major conflict. The people of Serenity won’t allow her to because she’s so misjudged and no one knows her story. This show is a must-watch and it ends with a killer cliffhanger.

 

  • Never Have I Ever- This is a great coming of age comedic,  teenage drama. This show has a lot of watershed moments that represent the South Asian culture in Hollywood and for sure does break the Asian stereotypes of Indians in America. The story is centered around Devi Vishwakumar who lives in California. She has had the worst of the worst like her father dying right in front of her and then loses sensation in her legs for three months. Obviously, being in the stereotypical  American high school and where the whole school saw her dad die can cause an overwhelming amount of taunts when Devi arrives in  a wheelchair. She definitely was subjected to a lot of name-callings. While dealing with high school pressure, the show accurately represents how Indian Americans have come to terms with their Indian identity. Devi is a nerd who wants to be popular but she struggles to become popular because she has the idea that her Indian identity is what makes her uncool. Also, she just wants to get laid which is a mood. I think Mindy Kaling did a great job. Can’t wait for season 2!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Blood & Water- I’ll be honest-  I don’t really know what to say about this show but it is worth watching. The story is about a teenage girl named Puleng and her mission is to uncover her family’s secret past of finding out who kidnapped her sister all while trying to maintain a different profile so she doesn’t get caught. Two things that I like about this show is that one it portrays realistic relationships amongst all the characters. Another thing is that it does a great job of keeping the suspense. What could be better though is if there was more storytelling on Puleng’s family and how the father’s one mistake changed everyone’s life. Each character plays a pivotal role in each other’s lives, however, there is a lot of conflict amongst the characters but it is not clear where the conflict comes from, essentially there’s no back story amongst the characters. The show does not end on a cliffhanger, but it is more abrupt which I feel takes away from Puleng’s work when she’s playing detective along with her friend Wade.

 

  • Dead to Me- This show is amazing because all the things you could imagine could go wrong literally goes wrong. Dead to Me is a dark comedy that focuses on two women who grieve the death of their husbands but create a bond that makes them inseparable, literally because of their involvement in each other’s cases. Jen and Judy become best friends and have a very tumultuous relationship that has a lot of dark humor. Jen and Judy have the absolute worse coping methods but the fact that they cope together unites them and the storyline. I like how Jen is known to be the most sensible but her character finally lets loose and opens her eyes to do the right thing. Then there’s Judy who is a hot mess but finally gets the one thing she’s been chasing after. Judy has a hard time saying “no” and the show ends with a cliffhanger. Hopefully, season 3 comes soon!

Quarantine Life

77 days since I have been quarantined at home and I am not gonna lie, I don’t want it to end. I realized that my lifestyle is a lot like quarantine and that I am genuinely just a homebody who likes to be alone.  Although the weather is getting warmer and I want to go out to the park and just soak up the sun with a nice book, I still want to do my part in staying at home and flatten the curve.

Ever since school has been closed, and classes have been moved to being online, I’ve felt much more at ease that I could pass the semester with a 4.0 GPA- which I did surprisingly.

To keep myself busy during the quarantine I have been working on some fun stuff like painting and playing the guitar. I’m not much of a painter but if there’s one thing I want to perfect myself in, it is drawing and painting because I actually suck at it. So here is a painting that I made and yes it is the Bikini Bottom.  I also have been learning how to cook and make desserts like cake and popsicle. Making popsicle sounds kinda lame but its fun- trust me!

I also have been working on this embroidery kit I got from Amazon. I don’t know how to sew and there aren’t any instructions on how to sew, so I kinda have been freeballing it, and it looks like this so far. I haven’t done much but I have been watching Youtube videos which is helpful.  I’m really passionate about getting this embroidery set done, its just taking forever though. 

 

 

 

 

Other than that I think I’ve been living my best life by sleeping at 3 AM and then waking up in the afternoon, just in time for lunch 🙂

I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy, and are taking all the precautionary measures that were listed by the CDC and other health officials. Please do wear a mask if it is necessary to leave your house and make sure to wash your hands. If you don’t have a reason to leave your house then don’t, there are a lot of fun things you can do while you’re at home.

KK Wears App

From my last post, I talked about creating my own app as a final project for my UX/UI Experience class. The app that I created is called KK Wears which tailors to buying Indian clothes and accessories. I chose to create this app because it was unique and the concept was super simple.

To create the app I used the Sketch software. For this project, I could have used Adobe XD, but I have been using Sketch more often and so I’m an expert with Sketch. Using the Sketch software, I created multiple iPhone XS templates and customized each page.

My app starts with the home page, where you have to log in, and then it takes you to the menu page where you can choose what you want to shop for. For example, when you click on Anarkali’s, it will take you the Main Anarkali page and you can choose your size. Based on your size, you can buy whichever Anarkali you want and the price is organized from Low to High.

After you choose your dress it goes into your shopping cart and when you click on the shopping cart, it will take you to the checkout page, and then you have to add your information to pay and then you’re done! The same concept applies to the Kurti/Kurta page, the Shoe page, and the Jewelry page.

I tried to make the app as easy as possible because my goal was to make sure that people could purchase clothes and accessories without going to multiple pages and becoming complicated.

If there is one thing that I could continue to improve on is my logo because I couldn’t think of a creative way to design my logo. To create my logo I had to use Adobe Indesign and to make sure it fits with my theme, I had to choose colors that were related to my mood board.  Overall, finding similar to exact colors from my mood board was the most difficult part for me because I personally didn’t like using gold, but I also wasn’t allowed to use black or white as a background color because it would look too simple and it would be seen as the light and dark mode on the iPhone.

 

                 

 

Underconstruction

Given the title, I am sure you must be wondering what kind of project I am working on now. For my User Experience/User Interface class, I am working on a project that is similar to the Blackboard App Redesign. I am creating my own individual app!

My app is still in its development phase, but I thought it would be unique to create an app that tailors to buying Indian clothes, shoes, and jewelry. My idea stems from a lot of websites like Esty and Cbazzar, where they sell Indian clothing and accessories for an affordable price. In my research, I didn’t find other apps similar to my concept, so I decided to stick with this.

Since this is a class assignment, I’m learning about each step UX/UI designers take to complete a project. So far I’ve completed the first four major steps which are coming up with an idea, creating a mood board, conducting research and creating a paper prototype. The research step is the most important step because it helps to determine what you should and shouldn’t add. For my research, I created a google form and asked my friends to fill out my questions which will help me decide what elements I should incorporate in my app.

I really wanted to share my mood board because I am proud of the hard work I put into it.  I was up till 3 AM on Adobe photoshop adjusting each photo well put my mood board together. I literally showed up to class like this.

My mood board represents the colors and schemes and visuals that represent my app. It helps to recognize the main theme and I can use my mood board as a template while designing my app. In my mood board, I used mostly black and gold, which to me are colors that catch people’s attention. Gold is like a royal color and goes with brown, black and yellow. Also in every Indian apparel or accessory, there is always a hint of gold, and I wanted to highlight that.

Here is my mood board:

Redesigning the Blackboard App

Apps are the blood flow to every smartphone that exists. When you need to wake up at 6:30 am to get to that 9:00 am class, you don’t set a physical alarm anymore, you use the clock app on your smartphone. When you have no time to go to HM but need a cute outfit for a party, what do you do? Well, it’s simple, you order on the app and get 10 percent off for downloading the app.

Apps are so essential to us that we use it every day whether that’s to shop, listen to music, or do homework. The Blackboard App is an app that CUNY students use to do homework when they, of course, do not have access to a laptop. The idea of the Blackboard app is heaven to us CUNY students because the goal is to get our assignments done using the most accessible device. Sounds like a great goal right? Well… it’s not! The Blackboard has many flaws that aren’t addressed and make it frustrating for students to complete assignments.

For my User Experience/User Interface Design class, my midterm was to recreate the Blackboard app by choosing one of the flaws and improve it. One flaw that my group picked out was making the discussion board page visible and accessible. To recreate this app, we had to use the software Sketch. Sketch is a software for vector graphics and is basically a tool that web and app designers use to bring their designs to life.

In my group, I was one of the designers and so I got to choose what designs I wanted in the app. I got a lot of feedback from my peers and groupmates while creating the designs. As a UX/UI designer, I learned that there are a lot of steps that I need to follow before actually getting into the designing aspect. One of these steps is called User Testing. My groupmates and I created a prototype that showed how we would redesign the app; succeeding in our goal.

 

Once we received our data from the prototypes, we knew where to start and go about the project. We tried to keep the app as simple as possible by limiting the number of pages and kept it as bright as possible without making it look boring. This is our final result.

I personally enjoyed working on this project because I learned how to excel in another designing software and I got to design an app through different color palettes, creating symbols and using different fonts to make this look real.

We created our app with four classes that we are taking for the Fall 2019 semester and we created three tabs that are important to us. The arrows represent what the next page would look like if we clicked on the class, then the discussion board page, or if we want to go back, etc.

3D Printing!

3D Printing is another aspect of design that can be used for almost anything. It can be used for fun, to create useful items and it can be used for an art project. I have never used a 3D printer before, so my experience with 3D printing is quite novice. To academically define what the purpose of a 3D printer is, it creates a 3-dimensional object from a computer that designs or somewhat codes dimensions and then prints on a .stl file.

My experience with 3D printing went from frustrating to unstoppable because, at the end of my course with 3D printing, I was able to design a cool creation. My very first print with the 3D printer was making a custom fit piece for an object. I chose to create a straw cap holder for a cup that I just bought. To create my straw cap holder, I used the website called Tinkercad. Tinkercad is a free 3D modeling program that is known for its simple interface and usage. My Professor recommended my class to use Tinkercad incase Fusion 360 was way too hard to use (which it was, it is literally for people who are pros at 3D creations).

In Tinkercad I was easily able to drag the ruler, measure the width, length, and height that was appropriate for my straw and then printed out the pieces. Before I could upload my dimensions, I had to first measure out the length, width, and height using an electric ruler in millimeters.

   

I had two reprint twice because I didn’t know that using the same exact calculations as the straw would impact the size of each piece. Since there happens to be an extra coating of plastic inside each piece, especially the cap, it technically makes the piece smaller; not fitting the straw. So to fix this error, I had to raise the dimensions by 3.5 mm and it fit.

This is what my final piece looked like with the correct dimensions.

So after familiarizing myself with 3D printing, I had to create a Frankentoy using two 3D prints. Since this was my midterm, the stakes were pretty high. For my Frankentoy creation, I thought it would be creative to pull apart the head and arms from my doll and replace it with robot pieces. Originally I wanted to turn my Barbie doll into a robot, but for some reason, I was inspired by the Squidward Dabbing meme.

I ended up continuing to use Tinkercad, changed the dimensions around and created a new head for my doll. I had again reprint twice because the first time that I printed, Squidward’s head was much bigger than I had expected. So I had to change the dimensions again and make it smaller. Then I created robotic arms on Tinkercad, which was really easy to make!

I had to use teal nail polish to paint Squidward’s head and the robotic arms because of the material the plastic is made of, and then I used fabric paint and sharpie to color in the rest of the doll and block of wood.

This is what my midterm project looked like. If I had more time on this assignment, I definitely would repaint the robot arms and give Squidward another layer of paint. Overall though, I think I nailed it!

   

 

What It Means To Be Artistic

Art is defined as the expression or application of human creativity and skill. If you draw, color, sculpt, create music or dance, you’re creating art. I create art in many ways. I play the guitar, I like to draw visually and I love using color.

Now I never used to consider myself as an artist because I don’t draw for fun or know how to sketch without looking something up. I always thought being an artist meant that you only have skills for drawing and painting and it something that came naturally. I never took Visual Art and Drawing Classes in High School because I thought I was a terrible drawer, but it turns out I’m decent.

From elementary school, I started playing the guitar. By the time I graduated from elementary school I was a Pro, but I never really considered playing music as an art.  It was only after I picked up my guitar after a 6-year hiatus and decided to join a music school, where I had an epiphany that I was expressing myself through guitar songs. When I started creating my own songs I was putting in my expressions and feelings and creating art.

I realized that there is soo much more to art. Art can also be found in photography, photoshop, web designing, television productions, books, etc. How you may ask? They all have one thing in common, CREATIVITY!

So the next time you draw, play music, edit photos or take photos to remember your channeling your inner artist by using your creativity.

Viacom’s Multicultural Media Summit

On Friday, June 28th I got the opportunity to attend Viacom’s 2nd annual Multicultural Media Summit. The purpose of the event was to encourage freshmen and sophomores to follow into a career path that is mainly related to media.

When I got there I was mind-blown! From the interior designs to the type of environment Viacom sets for its employees, I was pretty hyped. So as soon as I got there I met some really cool people who have the same major as me and got to network with them.

After getting the chance to network with other students, people from different departments came to speak with us about the work they do. At Viacom, there are multiple different departments like the marketing department, product development department, communications department, sales department, and research department.

The department that interested me the most was the marketing department because I got to meet this guy named Tony and the experience he shared was inspiring. He shared that working for Nickelodeon is a fun job, yet you learn every day and that is how you grow.  For me, Nickelodeon is everything because that is what  I grew up on, especially since I used to and currently watch Spongebob.

The second half of my day became eventful because I got the opportunity to create a pitch for the marketing team. As a “marketer” I had to market Comedy Central’s Roast Show with this year’s roastee Alec Baldwin. Now as fun as it sounds to market ways to roast Alec Baldwin, it was also really hard! My group had some really good ideas, but it was also hard to generate ideas that would be funny but also unique and eye-catching.

That experience was an eye-opener for me because I had missed many things that a marketer would propose like how often to promote the show and how to reach the target audience etc. Hearing other people’s pitches was an example for me, and now I know what I need to focus on if I choose marketing as my minor.

The summit is an experience all college students should get because it really tells you what you want to do in the future career wise and it’s always important to keep your options open as you excel into the real world. I knew I wanted to choose a career in media, but now I have a better sense that I want to be in the marketing/ communications field. Also, it is really important to network with companies because they could be your future employers. Use LinkedIn to connect with people and find opportunities, or even reach out to companies and see if they’re hiring.

Schools Out and Summer is HERE!

Today marked the end of Freshman year of college. I finished up with my last final exam and now I am free and on summer vacation!

The last couple of weeks, particularly after spring break was rough. I was behind on all my assignments and I had a quiz and a paper due all on the same day. From the start of May, until today I have been cramming in soo much work in order for me to pass my classes.

My final exams weren’t hard, but if you didn’t study or review your notes, there is no way you would be able to pass. So all of the days, even on the days that I was working, I was studying even when I was in the bathroom.

My friends and I were constantly running from one class to another to take our final exam but we weren’t running to avoid being late. We were running to secure our seats in the back. Cause we all know that when it comes to final exams, EVERYONE WANTS TO SIT IN THE BACK!

I don’t care when people choose new seats when it comes to final exams, but I absolutely hate when people choose my seat. If I sit in the back from the beginning of the semester, I will sit in the back until my final exam is over. The same rules apply when I sit in the front as well. When someone takes my seat, I feel so discombobulated and off of my game because that’s my seat.

But regardless of seat takings and hard final exams, I’m glad it’s over and summer is here and I can relax and do absolutely nothing for the next 3 months.